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Extended Audio Sample Say Her Name, by Francisco Goldman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,225 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Francisco Goldman Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda in the summer of 2005. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body-surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura’s death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die too. But instead he wrote Say Her Name, a novel chronicling his great love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain.

Suddenly a widower, Goldman collects everything he can about his wife, hungry to keep Aura alive with every memory. From her childhood and university days in Mexico City with her fiercely devoted mother to her studies at Columbia University, through their newlywed years in New York City and travels to Mexico and Europe—and always through the prism of her gifted writings—Goldman seeks her essence and grieves her loss. Humor leavens the pain as he lives through the madness of utter grief and creates a living portrait of a love as joyous and playful as it is deep and profound.

Say Her Name is a love story, a bold inquiry into destiny and accountability, and a tribute to Aura, who she was and who she would have been.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marcia | 2/20/2014

    " At times this "grief memoir" was hard to read because Francisco Goldman is SO sad an SO lost without Aura. But it is ultimately beautiful and sad and moving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Peggy Jeffcoat | 1/24/2014

    " This book is a fictionalized account of the author's life with Aura Estrada, his wife who died in a surfing accident in 2007. Since it is classified as fiction, I'm uncertain as to some of the facts, but it seems mostly to have occurred the way he write it. I mostly liked it, although parts of it were somewhat tedious to get through. The story is heartbreaking because you know from the beginning that she is going to die. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Trudy | 1/20/2014

    " This novel is breathtaking and heartbreaking. Reading it is like being inside the writer's head and emotions during the emotionally turbulent years as he remembers his life with Aura, his much younger wife, and mourns for her. While a lovely elegy, it also brings to life the complex person that Aura was, humanizing her by bringing to the fore her talent and good traits as well as her insecurities, occasional cruelty, impatience and other personal defects. In other words, he loves her entirely, with the good and the bad and makes us care for her too. At times it feels somewhat claustrophobic, for there is little in this book that is not about Aura. Even the narrative of the years of his life prior to meeting her are written in view of the day he will meet her and come into her life. A bit of fresh air would have come into the book if he had contextualized it by letting us know what other things were going on in his life and the world around him during those years. Nevertheless, it is what is is: A book about Aura, his paean and elegy to her, and a map of what it is to survive the brutal blow of losing a deeply loved one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Featherbooks | 1/3/2014

    " Until I finished the book and looked at the library cataloguing on the spine, I did not realize it was a novel. It was such a painfully beautiful tribute to the author's wife and his love for her, I was sure it was biography. I can't put it any better than Annie Proulx: "We may feel we know something about love's burn, the scorching heat of loss, but reading this book is to stand in front of a blowtorch, to take a farrier's rasp to raw ends ... Wrenching funny, powerful, beautiful." "

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About the Author
Author Francisco Goldman

Francisco Goldman is the author of three previous works of fiction (The Long Night of White Chickens, The Ordinary Seaman, and The Divine Husband), and one work of nonfiction, The Art of Political Murder. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a fellow at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers. Currently the Allan K. Smith Professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Francisco’s writing has appeared in publications including the New Yorker, Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City and Mexico City.